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Why Rebecca Hendrix From Law & Order: SVU Looks So Familiar

The psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Hendrix appeared in a number of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" episodes, and fans may remember her for her relationship with Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). While the two would argue about certain situations, they were still friends and had been ever since their time together in the police academy. Though Benson went forward and finished at the academy, Hendrix went on to pursue psychiatry because she wanted to spend her time "shrinking heads" instead.

This separation of careers is where the arguments would come from; Hendrix preferred to balance the psychological issues by trying to medicate and work with victims or criminals suffering from mental health problems. Benson then argued that a lack of watching these individuals afterward is what makes them likely to hurt themselves or others, which is why locking them up to monitor them is the best point of action. At the end of the day, Hendrix and Benson push their opinions aside and work together.

Hendrix was able to help provide psychological support for cases, where she first helped solve a young girl's trauma in the Season 6 episode "Contagious" and a later episode uncovers the motive for teenage twins who are guilty of a crime.

Hendrix is played by Hollywood veteran Mary Stuart Masterson, who has a long list of titles under her belt. Her roles aren't always related, and that helped her show her versatility and become an accomplished actor. Here are some of her more popular titles.

She played the tomboy Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful

John Hughes films ruled the '80s, and Mary Stuart Masterson starred in his 1987 romantic drama film "Some Kind of Wonderful." The tomboyish Watts (Masterson) is a talented drummer, and her personality meshes well with that of her best friend Keith (Eric Stoltz), a mechanic and aspiring artist. 

While he spends a lot of his time with Watts, he has his eye set on the popular beauty Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson). Watts reminds Keith that he and Amanda are totally different people despite their similar economic status and that she's been dating rich preppy Hardy (Craig Sheffer). Eventually, Amanda and Hardy break up and she and Keith start dating, much to Watts' dismay. Watts then realizes how much she cares for Keith, and since Amanda sees that Keith likewise has feelings for Watts, the two best friends ultimately become a couple.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in an oral history of "Some Kind of Wonderful," Masterson recalled that her character was originally supposed to get the masculine name Keith, adding that if the film was made today, she might end up changing her pronouns. But when the script was revised, her character was renamed after the legendary drummer of the Rolling Stones. "They said, 'Well, why don't we just pick a drummer and have a gender neutral name, like a last name or something.' I ended up being Watts for Charlie Watts and Eric Stoltz's character became Keith," Masterson said.

She was the protective best friend in Fried Green Tomatoes

Mary Stuart Masterson later starred as Imogene Threadgoode in the 1991 film "Fried Green Tomatoes." The film follows an intergenerational friendship between younger woman Evelyn (Kathy Bates) and older woman Ninny (Jessica Tandy) who bond and share stories when Evelyn visits her husband's aunt at a nursing home. Masterson's character Imogene was part of the storyline Ninny shares with Evelyn, a tale about a persevering female friendship.

Like her role as Watts in "Some Kind of Wonderful", Masterson's character in this film is a tomboy who fosters a strong female relationship with her brother's girlfriend Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker). After the sudden death of her brother Buddy (Chris O'Donnell), Imogene, or "Idgie," is inconsolable until Ruth intervenes. From then on, the pair are inseparable.

Off-screen, Masterson and her co-star Parker were similarly close and bonded by the professionalism they both possessed for their characters and roles in the film. In a Bobbie Wygant Interview, the women talked about the atmosphere on the set, sharing that because they are both named Mary, they were called "Stew and Lou" by everyone else to tell the ladies apart. Wygant went on to ask the girls how vacationing in Georgia was, and Masterson gushed about the locals. "The local people who worked on the movie were so fantastic ... Everyone treated each other so well; it was a real dream." 

Sounds like Masterson got an honest dose of Southern hospitality!  

Masterson is the talented painter in Benny & Joon

In 1993, Mary Stuart Masterson starred in the romantic comedy "Benny and Joon" alongside Johnny Depp. The film follows Juniper "Joon" Pearl (Masterson) and her brother Benny (Aidan Quinn) who allow the eccentric and overly creative Sam (Depp) to live with them.

Benny is stressed; following the sudden death of his and Joon's parents, he is scrambling to support himself and his sister, who deals with mental illness. He feels guilty leaving her alone, but it is increasingly difficult to make a living to support them while Joon also fails to cooperate with the hired help. In a poker game with his friend Mike (Joe Grifasi), Benny loses a bet, which results in Mike's cousin Sam going to live with him and Joon. Though initially upset, Benny finds that having Sam in the house helps ease their living situation since Joon isn't alone all the time anymore. 

Sam and Joon fall in love due to their similarities; Sam enjoys magic tricks and Joon loves painting. Interestingly enough, Masterson was the real painter behind all of the work shown in the movie. Entertainment Weekly shared that director Jeremiah Chechik decided Joon's art should be more representational, which resulted in Masterson painting them. Masterson, however, didn't claim to be an expert. "I never had the nerve to paint before. It definitely became a great outlet," she said.

Sadly, for Masterson, most of the paintings were destroyed in a fire scene that was ultimately cut. 

She played FBI Director Eleanor Hirst in Blindspot

More recently, Mary Stuart Masterson was on the NBC hit "Blindspot" which follows a woman called "Jane Doe" (Jaimie Alexander), who is unable to remember anything before being found by the FBI. FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) who is assigned to her case catches a break when he and other agents on the team discover that the woman's many tattoos turn out to be clues for unsolved crimes. With "Jane Doe", later named Remi Briggs, Weller can put her 'superpower' to good use. 

Masterson portrayed the calculating FBI Director Eleanor Hirst from 2017 to 2019. Hirst was a great support system for the team of agents, assisting in taking down the villain Sandstorm at the end of Season 2 in the episode "Lepers Repel". While Hirst was an ally and later friend to the team of agents, including Jane Doe and Weller, Hirst is eventually discovered to be corrupt in the 3rd season of the show. She went from corrupt to evil when she murdered agent Stuart (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) and Eric Vance (Tarik Lowe) in an attempt to cover up her shady business. Masterson's character was ultimately arrested and brought to justice for her wrongdoings.

She was a successful candidate for Brooklyn DA in the crime drama For Life

Later on, and aligned with her time on "Blindspot", Mary Stuart Masterson was also in the ABC drama series "For Life" which follows innocent prison inmate Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock) who becomes a lawyer to overturn his wrongful life sentence while also assisting other inmates. "For Life" ran for two seasons from 2020-2021 and explored the difficulties that result from Wallace's wrongful arrest. His ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) forbids their daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris) from seeing him and believes that he will never be able to turn over his sentence, as Wallace continues to fight to gain his freedom.

Masterson took on the role of Anya Harrison, the wife of Safiya Masry ("Game of Thrones" star Indira Varma), the jail's progressive prison guard. In an interview with Hollywood Life, Masterson spoke about the onscreen relationship. "What's great is that here's a lesbian couple that isn't on screen to delve into the issue of being a lesbian couple," she said. Instead, audiences are introduced to the two women who are each successful in their own way and trying to balance that with parenting. "Whose job wins? Whose job if it comes down to a conflict of interest, who has the career that gets the priority?" Masterson added.

Masterson praised the show for tackling the difficult conversation of a corrupt justice system and noted it was a privilege to be involved. "There's such a need for criminal justice reform and for prison reform," the actress explained.